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Soul Illusion Chapter 5

Page history last edited by nate 10 years, 11 months ago


 

Chapter 5.

 

Xander went from fast asleep to wide awake instantaneously. The room was silent and the bed was empty. It took a moment to occur to him that he hadn’t been in bed when he’d gone to sleep. Ok so technically, he hadn’t gone to sleep, he’d blacked out. Either way, he was in a cold warehouse when it happened. He didn’t need to ask how he got there though. Just thinking about it provided him with the answer, Angel had scooped him up in his arms and carried him back to the SUV, he’d cradled him in his lap all the way back. Then he’d sat with him until Spike had forced him to rest, eat or shower.

 

He wondered how he knew that? The answer provided itself clearly in his mind, //because you know everything//

 

Ordinarily, this revelation would have raised more questions and confusion in him. Instead, he acknowledged it as truth; there was no flash of panic or fear, just knowledge. His mind was decidedly uncluttered considering he was supposed to know everything. He smirked, ok, so it was all there but he had to want the information for it to come to him.

 

He slipped out of bed, very aware of his growling stomach. He’d been out of it for a week. Although, in reality he’d not been out of it at all, there had been things going on inside him that had required him to pay attention. And then there were the things that had needed doing for the Poltaling people, the ones who had sent an ambassador to beg his help. He’d done what he’d had to whilst in his healing sleep, he wondered if healing was the right word for it. He decided it wasn’t but couldn’t quite come up with the correct one. It was like his body had gone into a state to prepare itself for who he was to become. //Like a butterfly in a cocoon// His mind supplied. A transforming sleep then, he reasoned with himself as he pulled on his black silk outfit.

 

Xander pulled open the door to head downstairs. He knew that Angel was downstairs talking to the others. He knew because when he wondered where he was, the answer gave itself to him. He was fairly sure he could get used to being a know all, he would just have to remember not to wonder what a surprise or a present might be. He wandered down the stairs feeling alive and well rested. He was ready for what he would face, he already knew that what Angel was talking to the other’s about wasn’t going well.

 

He could hear their voices drifting up the stairwell to him now. He could clearly make out Chase’s petulant tone.

 

“But you saw it… how can you deny that something has infected him. He’s possessed or something.”

 

“I’ve already explained this to you. Nothing has infected, possessed or taken over Xander’s body, he’s not a demon, he’s not evil and he’s not dangerous to us.” Angel sounded irritated, like this conversation had been repeated over and over for some time.

 

The brunette human realised that it had, //5 times// his mind told him, //and this time it’s been going for over an hour//

 

He rolled his eyes wondering why Chase was like this. The answer made his foot falter in mid-air. He shook his head. //That can’t be right// but the answer came again and elaborated.

 

He descended further down the stairs and could see them all now, another realisation occurred to him; when he looked at the others they were surrounded by colours, what could only be described as auras. //That’s exactly what they are, they represent the person’s very essence//

 

He smiled as he saw Angel’s, it was equal parts a brilliant white and the darkest of blacks, twined tightly with threads of glittering red. Spike’s was almost the same except it seemed much more energetic and the occasional flash of blue. Then his eyes fell on Greg’s and he gasped loud enough that the two with super hearing turned towards him, causing everyone else’s gaze to follow.

 

“Hey guys.” He said brightly and bounded down the last few steps into his waiting Master’s arms. “Missed you.”

 

Angel planted a light kiss on his forehead, there were a couple of snickers but there was also a snort of disgust. Xan’s eyes were drawn towards the source, Chase. He tensed in the strong arms that held him.

 

The dark-haired vampire could tell something was up with his, pet. His scent was disturbing and his posture had gone almost rigid when he’d looked around. Angel followed his gaze and frowned, wondering why Chase could cause such a reaction.

 

Xander felt utterly nauseous. His hand came up to his mouth as he fought down the urge to be sick. “Get him out of here.” He told them, while pointing at the blond who’d caused the reaction. “Just get him the hell out of here.” He repeated before he ran for the kitchen.

 

Angel followed him into the seclusion of the room and waited patiently while Xan shakily poured himself a glass of water.

 

“What was that?” The vampire asked when he determined that his boy had calmed himself sufficiently.

 

Xander shook his head. He didn’t know how to start, and it seemed for all his knowledge it couldn’t help him with that. “He’s evil.” He blurted.

 

Angel waited patiently for him to continue. “His soul is black…just all black, there’s no light in him at all. He’s pure evil.”

 

“But he’s human.” The vampire’s brow furrowed, his brown eyes looking thoughtful. “And he fights alongside us.”

 

Xander snorted quietly, “Being human doesn’t mean you’re automatically good. Look at my father.” He stopped that train of thought before he could say too much. “He fights with us, but not on our side.” He told him, trying hard to explain that which he knew but didn’t really understand himself.

 

“If he doesn’t leave then I’ll kill him.” He said quietly, taking another sip of his water.

 

“What?” Angel stepped close to him, using a finger to lift the boy’s chin. His tone was gentle when he spoke. “Explain this to me, little one.”

 

“It’s what I am, what I’m meant to do, Master. My purpose is to return the balance to the light. At the moment evil is winning, ideally good and evil should balance out, but its gone wrong and to restore that balance I must turn it towards the light. By eliminating evil.” He held up a hand to prevent the protest he knew was about to come. “Human or demon it doesn’t matter, what matters is what’s in a person’s soul.”

 

At that moment the door burst open and an irate blond human stormed in, followed closely by Spike, who had apparently been trying to reason with him rather than physically ejecting him.

 

Without moving a muscle, Xander sent Chase flying backwards through the air. “I said get him out of here.” He bit out.

 

It was taking all his effort not to eliminate the darkness that he saw; so much effort that the hotel began to shake. There were shouts from the other room that there was an earthquake but Angel looked at his boy and knew what it really was.

 

“Spike, get him out of here, now!”

 

The door swung shut behind Spike as he launched himself after Chase and dragged him from the building.

 

Angel wrapped his arms around Xander, the building was still shaking periodically and he whispered soothing words, trying to calm his, boy. His power was an unknown quantity to them, they’d had no idea what to expect, and he still didn’t know totally what he was capable of. All that mattered at that moment was his human burrowing his face into his neck and holding onto him like his life depended on it. He could smell the saline from his tears and held him securely.

 

“Shh, pet. It’s going to be fine. We’ll work things out together.”

 

The rumbling building settled, finally. Xander gave a hiccup and there was a minor tremor, but it settled straightaway. He pulled slowly back and wiped at his face with his sleeve.

 

Angel stroked his thumb across a tearstained cheek and smiled encouragingly.

 

“Sorry, I feel stupid.” He couldn’t understand why he was crying. Here he was probably one of the most powerful beings on the planet and he was crying. //*The* most powerful// His own mind supplied. And ok so there was a chance he could get fed up with being a know all.

 

“You’ve no need to, you’re going through some big changes.” He ran a hand through soft curls and smiled. “You’re not alone in this.”

 

Xander smiled sheepishly and nodded. “I know.”

 

The door opened again and Spike stuck his head around, “He’s gone. Never liked that bloody wanker. Everything ok in here?”

 

“Thanks, Spike. Yeah, it’ll be ok. Your boy needs you, you should go look after him.” Xander nodded and smiled at him.

 

“My boy?” The blond menace scowled.

 

“Greg. Go on…go to him.”

 

“He’s not…” His scarred eyebrow rose as something dawned on him, “Bloody hell.” Then the bleached blond head disappeared.

 

Xander chuckled and realised that Angel was just looking at him. He shrugged and turned to the fridge, intent on making himself a feast to replenish his empty stomach. He hummed softly while he worked, fully aware of the vampire behind him.

 

Angel leant against the counter, watching his boy and waiting for the babbling to start. He needed some clue as to what they should expect from him. He felt like he was being ignored and that didn’t sit well with him. He shifted slightly and folded his arms across his chest.

 

“I know.” Xander said, without looking round, “You’re waiting for some kind of speech, something that will make everything clear. But I’m not sure where to start with it all.”

 

“What are you capable of, pet?” Angel asked. “The earthquake thing was impressive, how far would that go if you let it?”

 

He looked over his shoulder at the vampire, “I could flatten an area the size of California.” Xander answered.

 

Angel was still trying to comprehend his boy’s words, when Xander’s eyes flashed from brown to blue and he stopped what he was doing. That was an interesting point… the colour change seemed to occur when he was tapping into his power.

 

“What is it?” A concerned tone entered his voice as he noticed the change in body tension.

 

“A feeling.” He set his knife down and headed to the door. “Remind me to put up wards.”

 

They’d just entered the lobby when there was a shimmer followed by a portal opening. Everyone stopped and looked at it, nervous about what would come through this one.

 

Xander knew, before the being stepped out, he knew that it would be human in appearance, but that looks could be deceptive. He knew the language it would use and he knew exactly what it wanted. He kept all this to himself as he looked at the being.

 

The being’s eyes scanned quickly around the room and settled on Xander. He stepped forward and bowed.

 

“My Lord. My name is Kantiil. I come from Eltranthia.”

 

Xander nodded, understanding the words, even as everyone looked blankly at him wondering what the series of clicks represented.

 

“State your business.” The brunette requested.

 

He listened patiently as the Kantiil told his story. When he finished speaking, the ground rumbled slightly under them all, but Xander quickly pulled it into check.

 

“How dare you?” His words and face where filled with his indignation and rage, that even those who couldn’t understand the language knew that he wasn’t happy. “You come to my home and spout these lies at me! The One who knows all! You would dare to believe you could deceive ME?” His voice rose steadily in volume.

 

The ground shook again and the portal that had closed behind the being snapped open again. Xander’s eyes were a solid brilliant blue as he sent the Eltranthian hurtling back through it. There was a sizzle of static electricity and the portal closed. The tremors ceased and his eyes returned to brown. Xan turned to his Master as if nothing had happened, suddenly recognising the looks on the other’s faces. He shrugged his shoulders.

 

“Thought he could tell me a load of BS.” He snorted, “Like I wouldn’t know he was lying. Best of it is, if he’d have been honest I’d have helped them.”

 

All except Angel were seemingly shell-shocked by the display of power that the human had shown. There was a silent moment, and then Illyria was moving towards him. She went down on one knee and bowed low. The other’s watched with even more confusion.

 

Xander smiled down at her and ran a hand through blue streaked hair. “Its ok, my child.”

 

She looked up at him, tilted her head to one side, and then smiled almost shyly as she rose to her feet.

 

“I’m proud of you, the effort you’ve made, and you’ve done good things.” He told her as he wrapped his arms around her.

 

After a few moments, where Xander held Illyria tenderly, he pulled back with a smile. “I need to eat.”

 

She nodded, seeming to pull herself back in line; she took herself off to clean weapons.

 

Xander knew that the others were all still so incredibly puzzled, but he wasn’t in the mood to explain just yet. He caught Angel’s eye with a small smile and headed back to the kitchen, knowing that his Master was following him.

 

“Lay lines, that’s the closest I can explain it. There was a convergence under the warehouse, turning it into a kind of energy hub. Its what had attracted the Crghthalx there in the first place. That, combined with you being in danger, acted like a switch on my power. While I was unconscious, it was for my body to realign itself.” He rambled idly as he finished making his sandwich, then hoisted himself up to sit on the counter while he ate it.

 

Angel nodded, “So your power was dormant, it needed something to activate it. That makes sense.”

 

“You mean it explains why I was just the zeppo for so long.” He said pragmatically.

 

“Xander, you were never the zeppo, you were always the heart of the group, the one that held them all together. If it wasn’t for you… Sunnydale would have fallen into the pit of hell before you even graduated high school.”

 

Xander blinked, he wondered if Angel was just saying that to make him feel better. The answer came back to him that it was 100% the truth. It was why he was The Chosen One. He shrugged to himself and inhaled his sandwich.

 

“Why did you gasp when you looked at Greg?” Angel asked out of the blue.

 

Nearly coughing on his last mouthful, a smile formed on his lips. “So beautiful.” He said dreamily. He heard a deep growl and jumped. “No… not Greg… I mean, yeah, he’s good looking, but he’s not you. And have I told you how much I love you. I mean utterly totally crazy in love with you. I was meaning his aura.” He babbled.

 

“Aura?”

 

“Remember what I said about Chase, well I can see the essence of a person. His was all black. Greg’s… his is this brilliant rainbow. It was just breathtaking to see it.”

 

“What does it mean?” Angel asked the question that Xander hadn’t yet had chance to ask himself.

 

“It means he’s like Dawnie. I didn’t understand when Spike said he wasn’t Human and he wasn’t Demon. But now I know what he meant. He’s made of magic, like Dawn is the key.” Xander explained as the answers revealed themselves to him.

 

“So he’s a key? To what?” Angel’s brow creased wondering if Greg knew.

 

“No… he’s more important than that.” The answer that danced in his mind caused him to chew on his lip thoughtfully. “I can move inter and intra dimensionally, so I can not only open a portal and step through into another dimension but I could open one and step through into, say, England. Greg is my anchor to here. With a thought I can return to where he is. It will make sure I don’t get lost out there.” He looked at Angel, seeing the play of emotion on his face. “You’re my mate, my Master, I love you and you’re important to me. Sure Greg is important, but he’s not you. And you couldn’t be my anchor because you have your own destiny. Besides, there might be times I want to take you with me. He can’t go through a portal.”

 

Xander moved to rest his head against Angel’s shoulder, wrapping his arms around his waist and breathing in the scent of his Master. The vampire nodded.

 

“I understand, pet, I do.” He kissed the soft curls. “I love you too.”

 

 

 

Chapter 6

 

“Hey.” Xan walked out from under the shade of the veranda.

 

“Hi.” Greg looked up at him from the book he was pretending to read.

 

It was a beautiful day and he’d mostly just wanted some piece and quiet. Things had been strange since the group had returned from their mission with an unconscious Xander. He still had many questions that hadn’t been answered. The only good thing was that Spike seemed to be slowly making a move now.

 

“I wanted to talk to you, it’s kinda important.” Xan sat down on the bench beside his newest friend.

 

Greg closed the book and turned towards him, expectantly.

 

“I… I should have said something at the time, but it threw me for a loop and I really didn’t know what to say or how… in fact I didn’t even want it to be true. But I told Angel and he was pretty sure that I was right. And then when the demon and the thing in the warehouse and… I’m babbling.” He looked sheepish.

 

“Is this to do with the prophecy?” The confused man asked.

 

“Yeah. Thing is… its about me. I’m the Chosen One. I didn’t know it when I read it, of course. Only when I translated that stuff about reviving Buffy… when The Master left her to drown. It was triggered at the warehouse, it was like a magical hub that started the transformation, and then when Angel was in danger…” Xander smiled, apologetically. “I’m sorry for leaving you with the researching thing.”

 

“So, you’re the powerful guy in the prophecy. That seems really odd, but so obvious now.” Greg grinned.

 

“The thing is… I was wondering if you knew…well… what you are?” The brunette ran a hand through his hair; he knew full well at that moment that Greg didn’t know. He also knew his Master was watching him from the safety of the shade, and that he could hear them. It was down to Angel that he was out there talking to Greg now, he’d not wanted to have this conversation but knew at the same time that he had to.

 

“What I am?” Greg shook his head. “I’m the book guy, remember. Book guy and science geek.” He held his book up as if to prove that.

 

Xander smiled encouragingly, “You’re so much more than that.” He took a deep breath. “I can see you as you really are, the essence that makes up your soul. Man, it’s stunning. The thing is… you’re important to me, in helping me to do the things I need to do. You’re my anchor to here… to stop me from being lost.”

 

The ex-CSI frowned, his move back to California had not been planned, but when his friend had called and told him of the crazy things that had been happening in LA he just knew that he needed to be there. His relationship with Nick had fallen flat on its face after he’d been buried alive, his ex lover only seemed able to trust and get close to Gil. Finding them in bed together had been the final straw that caused him to pack up and leave. He hadn’t known the reason he was going to LA for, but shortly after arriving in the city, he’d been attacked by what he now knew to be a vampire and then rescued by two of them.

 

Spike and Angel had swooped down and kicked the vamp’s ass with such ease he was in awe. Being the naturally curious guy that he was, AKA ‘a right royal pain in the arse’ as the blond menace had dubbed him, he’d hassled them for an answer as to what that creature had been. They’d given him the slip but he wasn’t a CSI for nothing and he tracked them down to the Hyperion. He’d not left since then. It was like he felt he was where he was meant to be, and the demons fascinated him… not to mention the crush he’d developed on Spike.

 

Now, it seemed like everything that had brought him there had been cosmically orchestrated. He had a purpose there, a reason, he had sort of felt that anyway with the whole book guy thing but this… this was bigger.

 

“So…er…is there anything I need to know about this anchor gig? What’s the benefits package like?”

 

Xander laughed, “Pretty good actually. You get to live as long as I do, which keeping in mind my immortality… that’s a pretty long time. You won’t age anymore, my power is active now, which means yours are too. You’ll find you won’t get colds and stuff and… you have healing abilities that you’ll need to learn to tap into. And lets not forget you get to spend eternity with your very own blond vampire.” He waggled his eyebrows.

 

“Wow, that’s… that’s a lot to take in.” Greg’s eyes were wide. “And the vampire is part of the package deal, huh?” He smirked, barely missing a beat.

 

“Kinda seems that way, doesn’t it.” Xander grinned. “I know it’s a lot to take in, and you’ll need time, we all do. But it will all work out fine, I promise. I’ll give you some space, if you have questions you know I’m not far away.”

 

He waited long enough to see his rainbow boy nod his understanding, before rising to his feet and resting a hand on his shoulder. Xan smiled warmly, turned and headed back inside. He didn’t get far, a hand came out of the shade and wrapped around his arm, he was pulled close to a cool hard body. Looking up into the eyes of his own vampire… a package deal indeed. He smirked and offered his lips to be kissed.

 

Angel pressed his lips against Xander’s, hard. His tongue not waiting to be invited in, he thrust it between the boy’s lips and they bloomed open in response. The younger brunette moaned and pressed himself up against his lover and Master as arms wrapped tightly round him and anchored him in place while his mouth was passionately devoured.

 

When the kiss finally broke apart Xander blinked up through lowered lashes, “Wow.” He gasped softly. “Pleased to see you too.” He purred, his hands coming up to rest on his vampire’s strong pecs.

 

Cool, unneeded breath whispered past his ear, “Bedroom, pet…now!”

 

A shiver ran down the Chosen One’s back and he bit down on his lower lip. He wriggled out of the strong arms and sprinted off up the stairs to their room. He didn’t need to be told to strip, it was an automatic action when he stepped into the room; his black silk top was pulled over his head, folded and placed on a chair. Then the bottoms slid down round his ankles, folded and placed on top of the top. He was left standing in just the harness, if his Master was coming, it wasn’t his place to remove it so he went to the middle of the floor and slipped into a formal kneel. His posture was perfect, his eyes down cast even though his chin was up and he rested his hands palm upwards on his spread thighs. He waited.

 

The door opened and closed, Xander took a deep calming breath, as powerful as he was… he wouldn’t use his power on his Master unless it was life or death; it was a reflection of his trust. He deliberately didn’t wonder about what might come because the answer would reveal itself to him. Being a know-all could spoil all the good stuff if he wasn’t careful. His lover moved with such stealth he lost track of where he was in the room and a shiver threatened to rip through his body in anticipation.

 

Fingers slid into his silky brunette curls from behind and gripped, pulling his head backward. Xander was forced to tilt his head back and look up into the smiling yellow eyes of his Master.

 

“You look mighty pretty there, boy.” Angel leered down at him.

 

Swallowing a moan, he quirked a small smile, “Thank you, Master.” Speech was awkward in that position but not impossible.

 

The vampire was deciding what to do with his precious toy, it was exhilarating enough to be in control of a person, but it was on a totally different level when you knew that person was potentially the most powerful entity in the universe. His cock pulsed in his pants with need and desire.

 

“Stand.” Was his simple direction and he released his grip to allow his boy to comply.

 

Xander moved with a grace rarely witnessed in the young man as he got to his feet and stood obediently in front of Angel. He was nervous, the man always made him nervous it seemed. He was also hard and aching in the pouch. So, he was grateful when cool fingers unbuckled and removed the restraint on his groin and tossed it aside.

 

A cool palm wrapped around his hard cock and squeezed, tightly. Xan gasped and whimpered as the grip continued to tighten painfully. When it was released his cock swung upwards, even harder than before. His vampire knew how to play him. Diligent fingers slid over his chest and sought out his nipples, homing in on the twin nubs and pinching hard. The young brunette cried out as he arched into the tormenting hands. Again they were released and his cock bounced and pulsed with greater arousal at the pleasure-pain contact.

 

“Bed or Play room?” Angel asked him, allowing him the choice of his own fate. The question that was silently asked was pleasure or pain.

 

“Bed.” Was the lust-thickened reply.

 

The vampire nodded and swatted his butt playfully. “Up you get then, on your back.”

 

Xander scrambled up onto the bed, all grace gone as he flipped onto his back and propped himself up on pillows. Angel was laughing at him, but it wasn’t a derisive sound it was an amused affection; he realised he liked that sound. He watched his Master as he opened a drawer and started sorting through the contents, he knew what that drawer contained and he knew he wasn’t allowed in there.

 

Angel crossed back to the bed and fastened first one wrist cuff in place and then the other, they were soft and supple allowing them to be worn for long periods. The vampire noticed the dilating of his boy’s pupils that usually seemed to accompany his dive into submissive headspace. He attached the cuffs to the discreet points on the bed head. Next he brought cuffs that fastened calf to thigh, keeping the knees in a bent position. When they were on he attached chains that ran off to the sides and fastened to the bed frame, holding his boy’s legs bent and apart, allowing unobstructed access.

 

With every clip fastened Xander felt his cock jump with arousal and a moan build in his chest. He was being spread open for his Master to have his wicked way, he was immobilised and all he could do was take whatever was given to him. His cock head started to leak clear precum and he shivered in anticipation.

 

“Master.” He sighed, his voice full of desire and love.

 

There was a wicked glint to those brown vampiric eyes that occasionally flashed yellow, just before a leather strap was tightened around the base of his cock. The bound man moaned his frustrated appreciation, a sound that was met by a dark chuckle.

 

With a rare display of his preternatural speed, Angel was naked in record time. He stalked towards the bed like he was hunting prey, climbing up onto the bed like a huge panther, sleek, graceful and deadly. He made his way up the bed and went straight for the exposed target. His tongue flickered out and lapped at the smooth flesh of his boy’s groin, swirling his tongue over the taught ball sac, then up along the underside of the rigid shaft.

 

Xander moaned and tried to squirm with little success. The tongue was slow, deliberate and teasing. It moved over his shaft in a pattern before swiping over the head to collect the sticky goodness that was oozing steadily. Then the tongue was gone, a cool digit pressed against his anus, cool and slick. The young brunette wondered when his lover had lubed his fingers, only to groan in frustration when he received the answer he hadn’t really wanted. He would have to be more careful with what he wondered.

 

The finger pushed straight in and headed right for his prostate, it rubbed and pressed insistently until his muscles were flexing and rippling with his unsuccessful efforts to writhe on the bed. He was gasping for air when the finger was removed, a second was quickly added and his hips bucked slightly, the only movement he apparently could make other than the tossing of his head from side to side. His toes curled and uncurled in defiance as the two fingers scissors and thrust in and out of his hole.

 

The fingers were withdrawn and Xander was left wanting, needing, his hole open and exposed. Angel moved away and returned pressing something against his relaxed entrance, the blunt head was easily distinguished as a plug; he knew it couldn’t be his Master’s cock because the man wasn’t positioned right for it to be. The plug seemed to be spreading him wider and wider and the insertion was so slow it felt like it went on forever. Finally, the toy was seated inside him. It felt good but it wasn’t what he wanted in there.

 

There was a click that the younger man heard clearly in the stillness of the room and then a low buzzing vibration started in his ass, his eyes widened and his mouth opened in a silent cry of surprise. The wickedness in Angel’s eyes told Xander that it wasn’t going to be a straightforward experience and the vampire slowly increased the speed until it was at maximum. It made him groan and try to thrust his hips, but just when he was getting used to the vibrations the controls were slowed right back down to that original low thrumming. Oddly, it was seemingly more intense than the full power had been; he figured it had something to do with the frequency of the vibrations. Xan didn’t care why it was like that… it felt good.

 

Angel was feeling almost evil, sure he wanted to cum himself but he also wanted to take his time to drive his boy a little insane with pleasure. They hadn’t had nearly as much opportunity to play, as he would have liked. He had been planning on blindfolding his boy, but he’d realised quite quickly that when Xan was using his powers his eyes went that brilliant blue. So, he kept his eyes available so he could check on things. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust him, it was just that he knew that it wasn’t fully under the boy’s control yet and he wanted to know what they needed to work on to improve that control. As a testament to that, there had been a brief flash of that blue when he’d first pressed a finger to his hole, it hadn’t lingered though and the vampire was pleased.

 

The plug firmly in place and buzzing away quietly on it’s lowest setting, the dark vampire leaned over his boy and kissed him tenderly on the lips. “Mine.” He growled against them.

 

“Yours, Master.” Xander replied; his eyes and voice filled with emotion. “Always.”

 

Angel smiled, happiness and mischief reflected in yellow eyes, he flickered out his tongue and surprised his boy by licking the tip of his nose. He chuckled deep in his throat.

 

“I’m going to leave that plug in until the batteries run out, my pet. You may be here some time.”

 

Xander groaned in frustration, chewing his lower lip lightly.

 

“You can cum as freely as you need.” His lover continued. “And I…am going to fuck myself on your pretty hard cock.”

 

The bound boy gasped and if it weren’t for the strap around his cock, probably would have lost it right there and then, just at the declaration of intent.

 

Angel turned himself so that his boy could see exactly what he was doing as he pressed slick fingers against his entrance. He easily slid a finger into his hole, looking over his shoulder at his boy’s face and hearing the speeding up of his heart rate and breathing at the display, he slowly fucked himself with it. He was soon ready for a second finger and started to finger fuck himself with abandon, his eyes closed and he focused on the sound of blood rushing through his boy’s veins as he slid those digits in and out.

 

Opening his eyes again, he grinned at his boy’s captivated gaze watching those fingers. He pulled them out and moved himself to straddle Xander’s waist, Angel reached behind him with slick fingers, quickly lubing up that hard cock. He held it firmly while he moved back, guiding it to his slick hole. He was still a little tight but he liked the feel of the burn as it breached him. He pressed down onto it and the head popped through the sphincter. Angel moaned his pleasure as the rigid flesh pushed into him. He sank all the way down on it, feeling it opening him wide and the heat in his ass was incredible. He hadn’t felt anything like it in a long time.

 

Xander thought he was going to die, his heart was pounding so hard and fast and the cool velvet grip wrapped around his cock, was incredible, his eyes fluttered and he looked up into the liquid golden eyes of his Master… his Master who had just impaled himself on his cock. He felt the flex and pulse of his shaft buried deep inside that channel, his balls tight and clenching, wanting to cum so bad, the thrumming in his ass. He groaned loudly. If he weren’t immortal he probably would die, and die very happily, right now. He was in heaven. He didn’t think it got any better, that was…until Angel began to rock his hips back and forth, the channel gripped and released, rubbed and squeezed his cock and his eyes all but rolled into the top of his head.

 

“Yessss. Oh fuck, yes!” He cried out.

 

There was a dark chuckle and his nipple was pinched, “Language, Alexander.”

 

Coherent thought was still possible and prevented him from responding with a ‘fuck language…this is awesome.’

 

“So good.” He murmured instead.

 

Cool hands and lips slid over hot human flesh in exploration and desire as Angel gyrated his hips on the hard rod in his ass. That cock in his butt was burning him up inside, he started to lose control, his features shifted and he rode harder and harder, raising and lowering himself on his boy’s cock. Slamming himself down on it faster and faster then grinding his hips down while seated all the way on it, the shaft rubbed over his prostate and finally it was too much. The vampire tensed, shuddered, howled and shot his cum all over his boy’s panting, heaving chest. Quite possibly the most intense orgasm of his entire existence, he collapsed forward resting on Xander’s sweat sheened body and nuzzling at his neck.

 

As he licked and nuzzled Angel was aware of the scent of his boy, arousal, need and expectation. Curiously, he let his fangs graze flesh. Rewarded with a moan of pleasure he chuckled, he would drink from his boy eventually, but not yet. A devilish smile flashed over his face and he turned the control to full on the plug in one quick move.

 

Xander cried out, bucked and writhed as much as the tight bindings and heavy vampire draped on him would allow. His rigid cock still buried in Angel’s ass, the sensation finally pushed him far enough and hard enough that the cock strap was merely an annoyance as he exploded with such force his head span, he saw stars and he forgot that he needed to breath. His lover moaned as his channel was flooded with hot cum and kissed him, ferociously.

 

The young brunette whimpered as the vibrations continued past his orgasm and the strap stopped his cock from softening. His Master showed no signs of ending the torture or moving from his comfy Xanpillow. He resigned himself to staying like that until the batteries ran out.

 

Angel smiled lazily at him, his human features back in place. “I think I’ll stay here, and with every orgasm you can fill my ass with more of your spunk.” He played with the control, flicking it up and down, fast then slow, fast... slow… like a pulse of vibrations.

 

Xander groaned.

 

******

 

After his boy’s second orgasm, Angel had twisted to unfasten the bound legs, letting them stretch out. Using the same straps he bound the legs together instead. The vampire resettled himself and went back to his new favourite pastime of playing with the plug controls.

 

Xander was no longer sure which way was up, his legs being stretched out was a relief but he had little energy left to enjoy it. The vibrations went on regardless, they were relentless, and he made the mistake of wondering how long the batteries would last. He groaned at the answer. The pulsing up and down of the plug, and clenching of muscles around his cock was driving him slowly towards another orgasm. His stomach muscles had a dull ache from the clenching as his previous orgasms had ripped through him.

 

Angel flipped the switch to full on again and left it there, Xander gasped and whimpered, his arms tugging at the bonds. He knew it was pointless, he was here for the duration, his Master was feeling wicked.

 

After his eighth orgasm, the young brunette passed out. The batteries had lasted almost five hours before finally giving out; Angel had released the leather strap after the fourth orgasm and when the vibration had died he’d ridden him to completion, his ass now loose and squishily full of his boy’s cum. Xander was exhausted and fell into a sated slumber.

 

The vampire climbed off his sleeping boy and carefully released him, easing the plug from his ass received only a slight squirm of protest. Angel felt cum trickle down the inside of his thigh and the idea of filling Xander up like that aroused him. He quickly cleaned himself up then gently cleaned his boy, before curling up on the bed with him.

 

******

 

“I know what I’m meant to do.”

 

A sleepy voice brought the vampire to full consciousness. “Hmm?”

 

“I have to finish what you started, I have to bring down Wolfram and Hart.” Xander told him as he rubbed his cheek against his Master’s chest.

 

******

 

Interlude

 

 

******

 

Chapter 7

 

Following his sleepy declaration, 3 days earlier, Xander hadn’t mentioned again what he planned to do. In fact he hadn’t spoken a great deal at all. He’d done a lot of meditating, lost deep in his own thoughts and flying the astral plane. He’d reached a conclusion, but no matter how hard he tried, the brunette couldn’t work out what the consequences would be.

 

Xan hovered in the doorway to the office; his black satin pants were slung low on his hips as he watched his Master working away at his desk. Angel knew he was there of course, how could he not? But he would wait until he was beckoned in. It was a good 10 minutes before the dark haired vampire looked up, a teasing smile on his face. He knew exactly what he’d been doing. His boy smiled back and crossed the room, slipping to his knees beside his chair; he looked up through ruffled hair.

 

“What is it, pet?” Angel asked, turning slightly and letting one hand tangle in those messy curls that he’d become fond of.

 

Taking a deep breath, Xander spoke quietly, “Master, I want you to claim me.” He hesitated a moment, “Need you to.”

 

The vampire raised an eyebrow, it was unusual enough that a pet should request being claimed, but coming from Xander, the Chosen One, it seemed… incredible, especially as he was saying that he needed it.

 

“Need?” He asked, eventually.

 

His boy nodded, not exactly eagerly but most certainly decisive.

 

“It’s not something to be entered into lightly, pet.”

 

“I know, Master. I know everything that it entails.” The young man almost implored.

 

Angel studied him closely. “I’ll think about it.” If he was honest he already had given it thought before, but this had thrown him off balance, it was early in their relationship, and Xander’s full power wasn’t yet known to him.

 

Xan nodded, his smile had faded somewhat though. They had time; he could wait a few days. “Thank you, Master.” He nuzzled his cheek into the hand and let his eyes flutter closed.

 

******

 

The hairs on the back of his neck prickled and Xander smiled, he knew he was being watched again. It had happened a lot over the last four days, ever since his conversation with Angel about claiming. His Master was watching him intently and he couldn’t help but play to it whenever he could. He would move more fluidly and he found positions that showed off his muscles to their best. The brunette couldn’t imagine why Angel would want to watch him washing dishes, it was beyond him, but he was, so he just went on with what he was doing and not letting on that he knew the vampire was there.

 

“When you’re finished, go up to our room and wait for me.” The smooth almost dark tone told him.

 

It had made Xander jump, as he wasn’t expecting him to speak. It was the middle of the night and even though things had been more heated in the sex and play of late, it was all reserved to the morning when the sun had started its climb. He suspected that he was being put through his paces, tested for his suitability, but he refused to ask that question of himself. If he was honest, he was enjoying every minute of it and Angel had yet to ask him to take anything that he wasn’t capable of.

 

He rushed his way through the remainder of the dishes, dried his hands and bounded upstairs two at a time. Xan stripped off his clothes and folded them neatly, not letting his eagerness get in the way of diligence; Angel didn’t compromise.

 

******

 

When Angel entered the room, he barely gave his boy a second glance; just enough to make sure he had done what he was meant to. He went to the concealed playroom door and pushed through.

 

“Follow.” He commanded, not looking back at Xander.

 

The naked brunette slipped out of his position and had to stop himself from running to catch up. Running naked wasn’t a pretty or sexy sight. His Master stood in the centre of the room, he simply pointed to the floor and he went to his knees at the vampire’s feet. His butt resting on his heels, thighs parted and back straight, perfect posture, he’d practiced a lot to ensure he was faultless. His tanned body was hairless, as Angel had promised the first time he’d shaved him… and he’d remained smooth thanks to the magical lotion. He had never realised how sexy his body would feel without hair, but now he could never imagine going back to being hairy.

 

Angel looked down at his boy, his submissive posture making his cock harden in his pants. Possibly the most powerful being in the world was on his knees, for him. He had so many plans.

 

“Kiss my boots.” He ordered.

 

Xander leaned forward, and placed delicate kisses on the top of each boot. He knew where those boots had been, the things that had been on them, he knew because he was the one who cleaned them after each adventure. They were clean because he had made them so, but that didn’t mean the act was any less humbling.

 

“Who’s are you, boy?”

 

“Yours, Master… forever, yours.” The quiet answer came, full of awe and dedication…conviction.

 

He was rewarded with a smile, a mix between Angel and Angelus. The vampire had plans, he was going to take his boy far tonight, test his limits and his devotion, show him what he was asking for by asking to belong to him. Then he would ask the question… and depending on the answer they would be bound together for eternity.

 

A strong hand slid into thick brunette curls and gripped tightly, possessively. Xander moaned softly and his hard cock bounced slighting. There had only been the two of them in the hotel, so Angel had left his genitals unbound, enjoying watching the obscene way his hardness made the silk pants tent.

 

The vampire crossed to the whipping post and started to move chains and things around.

 

“Come.” He called when he was ready.

 

The human knew the rules when he was in there; orders were to be followed precisely. He hadn’t been told to get up and walk over to him, he had just been told to come. Remaining on his knees, Xander shifted onto all fours and crawled the ten feet or so to where his Master waited. His hips swayed suggestively, he was like a giant panther crossing the room; that was something else he’d practiced.

 

He shifted back into a formal kneel and looked up expectantly into expressive brown eyes.

 

“Stand.” Angel commanded, his voice reflecting the lust that was shown in his gaze.

 

He rose gracefully to his feet, not taking his eyes off the other man; he stood to await his fate, knowing what would come without needing to use his power. Sure enough, padded leather cuffs were strapped around his wrists, tightened and raised above his head to attach them to the hook at the end of a chain on the post.

 

“Thank you, Master.” He said, softly.

 

A gentle hand moved down his back as he was directed into position without further words. Legs spread shoulder width apart, and a spreader bar was fastened between them. Arms pulled up tight so that there was no slack in the chain holding them, he was practically on tiptoes. He’d not been whipped before, he was not looking forward to it, but Xander would endure it to prove to Angel that he could handle belonging to him. After all, he had asked for this.

 

“Would you like a blindfold and gag, my boy?” The dark voice asked close to his ear, sending a shiver down his spine.

 

“No, Master. Thank you.” He didn’t want anything to get in the way of this and he knew that Angel wanted to be able to hear him.

 

He took deep breaths and mentally prepared himself, he couldn’t even hear the vampire moving around, he was so silent. Xander heard the whoosh of the whip through the air and then the snap; he jumped slightly, losing his footing momentarily. It had been a test pass, the whip only being struck in the air. His heart beat furiously, he thought he must be insane to want this, but he did, he wanted to be marked as Angel’s for all to see.

 

The next time he heard the tail slice through the air it slashed across his shoulder blades in a fiery line that caused him to tense and cry out in pain. There was a pause, and then it struck again, laying down another stripe directly beside it. He cried out again, trying to force his body to relax, assuming it would hurt less if he did. His erection had wilted somewhat at the intense pain that flashed through him.

 

The whip fell in a predictable rhythm, and he was able to start to anticipate when and where the next flash of pain would occur as the existing welts continued to burn and pulse. He still cried out and tensed slightly with each strike, but he felt himself start to harden again. He wasn’t sure why and he didn’t ask that of himself because some thing’s he preferred not to know. All that mattered was that his Master was whipping him, laying down burning red marks that would fade physically but remain a part of him forever.

 

His back and ass were on fire, but as much as it burned he knew that the whip hadn’t broken the flesh and he wasn’t bleeding. His Master had a lot of skill with the instrument, maximum pain, without the damage. Tears streaked Xander’s face and his throat was hoarse from his screams of pain. He had tried to count each strike but had lost count around 16.

 

The lashes had stopped but the pain continued to flare as if he was still being struck, he whimpered and cried out with the rolling agony of it. He felt cool hands press against his heated sore flesh, soothing and hurting at the same time. Gentle words murmured in his ear that he couldn’t totally make sense of, but it didn’t matter.

 

Angel’s arm held him upright while his other hand released the hook. The vampire’s supernatural strength supporting Xander’s weight, making sure he wouldn’t drop to the floor. He was lifted gently and almost cradled by his Master in both arms; he was both comforted by the contact and the injuries irritated by the position.

 

He was carried to the sling and placed into it carefully. Strong hands fastening him into it quickly and with practiced ease. The same hands slid over his undamaged chest and abs, contrasting with the soreness of his back. Fingers found and pinched his nipples and he gasped, his cock pulsing and leaking on his stomach. Angel smiled at him fondly, and then started to strip off his clothes, folding them and placing them neatly to one side.

 

“This will hurt.” The vampire told him, his voice a warning, caring but not suggesting that anything that could be said would change the fact. “Are you sure that you want this?”

 

Xander nodded, “Yes, Master… I want to be bound to you.”

 

Angel’s face shifted and he bit into his wrist, dribbling some of his own blood on his hard cock, he licked the blood from his wrist and the wound healed. His hand smoothed the blood around, coating himself with it. That was the only preparation he made before he pressed the tip of his hard flesh to Xander’s tiny hole and pushed in relentlessly, one hand gripping a hip tightly, leaving finger-shaped bruises.

 

The human cried out as he felt his Master’s big cock push into his hole, popping through the sphincter and seemingly endlessly pressing all the way inside. He was fairly sure he tore and that his own blood mixed with the other man’s, but it somehow didn’t matter, he would heal… but it hurt, a lot.

 

“Master… please…?” He cried out desperately, the pain was almost unbearable, his resolve weakening slightly under its pressure.

 

He took deep breaths, then a tight had wrapped around his wilting cock, squeezing and stroking it back to life. Xander let his head fall back, leaving his neck arched in perfect submission as good feelings started to flow through him, twining together tightly with the pain of their joining.

 

The thrusts started off slow and careful, but quickly built in strength and frequency until the vampire’s big dick was pounding into him. Hands, bruisingly tight on his hips, pulling and pushing, the swing enabling the thrusts to increase in their intensity. Despite the pain and the roughness of it, Xander found himself being propelled towards release, he wanted to cum. His breathing ragged and heart pounding it’s way out of his chest, his Master leaned forward and licked at his neck. Fangs sank into his soft flesh as those punishing hips drove the invading cock deep inside and froze, as he was bit he felt Angel’s seed coat his insides. He cried out one last time, his own human teeth biting into his Master’s shoulder as he came hard. Extreme pain ripped through his body, so powerful it stole his breath and voice.

 

He felt the grip on him relax and the weight on him increase, awareness came to him quickly and he used his power to hold Angel’s weight, to move him off him and lay him down. Xander wasn’t sure he should, but he released himself with only a thought, then picked up his unconscious Master, carefully carrying him back to the bedroom despite the pain that continued to ripple through his body. The marks on his back and ass healed as he walked, as did the tear in his anus, blood and semen still made its way down the insides of his thighs though. His body was going through changes, he needed sleep for them to be complete, as did Angel it would seem.

 

He laid the vampire down gently and crawled into bed with him.

 

******

 

Angel awoke back in their bed and it took a moment to realise why that was odd. He’d passed out just after he’d bitten Xander and the human had…he’d bitten him back. That wasn’t the only thing that was weird though. He felt strange… he rubbed at his forehead and paused, he was… warm? He sat upright in the bed; he had a heart beating in his chest. He pressed a hand against his torso, eyes wide. He looked at the sleeping figure curled up beside him.

 

“What have you done to me, Xander?” He asked in a demanding tone.

 

“Hmm?” The sleepy question, before he turned over and looked up at Angel, eyelids still heavy.

 

“You made me human?”

 

Xander sat himself up, the sheet dropping away to pool at his waist. On his chest, over his heart was a perfectly healed scar of a swirling letter A. The panicking Angel’s eyes focused on it.

 

“What did you do?” His fingers touched it, he looked for signs of blood but saw none.

 

Xander looked down at where the fingers were caressing his flesh. “Oh. I didn’t do that, you did… or more precisely, your blood did.” His own hand went to press over the beating heart of his Master, a smile tugged at his lips. He knew it was important but he didn’t know why, until now.

 

“You’re not human. You’re a hybrid, you can still vamp out, you don’t need to breathe to live, but you can, you have a breath, you have a reflection. And more importantly, you’re as immortal as me now. No dust busters required.”

 

“Xander…”

 

“I didn’t know, I swear. I knew that you had to claim me but I didn’t know what it would do.” He held his hands up to declare his honesty.

 

“And this?” He traced the letter A.

 

“Forever marked as yours, inside and out.” He grinned, tilting his head to the side thoughtfully; his eyes flared a bright blue a moment. “There are other things.” His face shifted minutely, small fangs distended from his normal teeth, and only a tiny ridge over his nose, eyes permanently solid blue. Short but sharp claws emerged from his fingers too, “I’m a baby vamp.” He giggled.

 

“You look like a cat.” Angel laughed at the sight.

 

Xander pouted, which was hard considering the fangs, but he’d had plenty of practice over the years and the effect couldn’t be denied.

 

“I’m sunk, that shouldn’t look so damn sexy.” Angel declared as he flipped his boy onto his back and started to devour his mouth. His own fangs descended and he paused, pulling back to look down in game face.

 

Xander stared up at his Master in awe, seeing him with new eyes, his fingers came up to trace the ridges, eyes searching each other’s faces. Angel was more unique than he had ever been.

 

 

 

Chapter 8

 

Xander practically skipped down the stairs, a smile on his face, he was so happy he could sing… but he knew he couldn’t, knew he sounded bad: so he didn’t. There was nobody in the lobby so he started to make his preparations. Looking for chalk, salt, crystals and a black permanent marker pen. He was sat on one of the seats tapping his chin thoughtfully when he heard Spike and Greg’s voices approaching; he made no move to greet them.

 

The blond vampire’s words fell away; he noticeably sniffed at the air then stalked closer to the brunette. “Bloody hell.”

 

Xander looked up at him with a grin, “Hey Spike, whatsup?”

 

Only a brief glance was spared for his assembled items, the vampire was starring at him intently. “Guess congrats are in order.” He sniffed once and adopted an unaffected stance. “Where’s broody?”

 

“Topping up his tan.” The ex-scoobie told him with a smile.

 

Greg was looking a little perplexed but didn’t interrupt; he sat down at his desk and watched the play between the two of them.

 

“Ha ha, very funny, pet. Where is he really? Can’t have driven him to dust himself this quick.”

 

His eyes sparkled happily, “Really, he’s in the garden… and no dust.”

 

Spike shook his head and headed in that direction, what he saw as he walked out in the shadow made him stop dead. “Bloody hell… what did you do, Xan?”

 

Angel was just wearing a pair of shorts and lay on the grass, a pair of sunglasses shielded his eyes, but that was the only protection he seemed to have as the suns rays beat down on him. That was when Spike noticed the heartbeat; he looked around then back at his grandsire. Turning to go back inside he bumped into the brunette.

 

“Great isn’t it?” Xander had a big goofy grin on his face but the vamp didn’t look too impressed.

 

“You made him human, are you crazy?”

 

The chosen one frowned, then started to laugh, “He’s not human.”

 

“He has a heartbeat and he’s in the bloody sun… how is he *not* human.”

 

He can still hear you, y’know.” Angel called, from where he lay.

 

Spike shot him a look that went unseen, turning back to face Xan, “What did you do?”

 

Like a flash of lightening, the dark vampire-hybrid was beside them. “He didn’t do it, the blood bond did. I’m much more than I was.” Angel’s voice as dark and silky as he spoke close to the other vampire’s ear.

 

The display of speed was definitely not human, nor was the scent, but it was also more than he’d come to expect and know from his grandsire. He smelled incredible, a mix of vampire, of family and then that strong thread of human that was almost intoxicating…there was something else though, something unidentifiable that he recognised from the boy. “So, y’claimed the whelp then?” It was undeniable; obvious, and despite the façade, Spike was happy for them. He nodded once, “Good. What’s with all the bits and pieces, Xan?” Subject covered and finished, he moved on to the array of items that he’d seen on the seat beside the human – who wasn’t human anymore.

 

“Huh?” Xander looked back over his shoulder to the lobby, “Ohhhhh, that project. I…um… need some things to complete it. Maybe you can help.” He rocked from heels to balls of his feet and back, looking innocent and big eyed trying to convince Spike.

 

“That look doesn’t work on me, pet. Try it on your Master or something.” The bleached blond smirked.

 

Angel had gone back to sunbathing but was listening close enough, replied with amusement, “I have more important things to take care off. I’m too pale, apparently.”

 

Spike looked from the brunette on the grass to the one stood beside him.

 

Xander nodded, “It’s true… much too pale. He’ll look so good all bronzed and tanned, less broody too, I bet.”

 

“Heard that.” Came an amused chastisement from his Master.

 

“You were meant to.” His boy chuckled, as he threw back the comment.

 

Greg stood and watched still, he hadn’t said anything yet; he looked like he’d been working something out. “I can see it.” He said, finally.

 

All eyes turned towards him, Xander just nodded, knowing what he was talking about, but the bleached blond asked, “See what, brains?”

 

Greg flushed a little at the nickname he still wasn’t quite comfortable with. “The bond between them, that they’re mated.” He frowned. “I can’t really explain it though.”

 

“I’m complete.” Xander told them, “Angel claiming me completed both of us. We’ve both reached our potential.” He nodded. “Kinda cool, isn’t it.” He grinned, goofily.

 

The ex-CSI nodded, “Yeah, very.” He looked at Spike speculatively, sometime…not yet but sometime, the vampire would claim him and he wondered what effect it would have on him - on each other.

 

“I need you to go and get me some stuff Greggo. It’s important.”

 

“Sure… what do you need, boss?” He joked with a grin.

 

Xander’s eyes crinkled in a smile. “First I need a Ram’s head. Just the skull will do, but the horns are important.”

 

Greg’s smile faded slightly as he shifted uncomfortably, “O-K!” He’d been asked to get weird stuff before for the two vampires, but it was still not sitting right with him.

 

Spike’s scarred eyebrow rose with interest. “Just what is this project?”

 

“The demise of Wolfram and Hart.” Xander told them, chirpily. “I need the ram’s head first; then a wolf, fur or skull… ideally both would be good. Finally, the head of a Male Deer over 5 years old… a Hart.”

 

“All at the same time? It might take me a while to find them.” Greg was looking thoughtful, trying to work out where to go to find the items.

 

Xander shook his head, “Nope, just that order. I can’t do them together; they have to be a few days apart. But I need it before the sun goes off the terrace.” He said cryptically, before either could reply he was wandering away to gather his supplies.

 

******

 

“Surely it would make more sense to do it together?” Spike asked curiously, watching from the shade while the chosen one drew symbols on the part of the terrace the sun was shining down on.

 

He didn’t look up as he answered, focusing on the complicated design; there was no room for error. “Nope. The spell is complicated, because they’re in an alternate dimension that has conduits to this one, pulling one in will cause a minor imbalance…nothing too noticeable; electrical flux probably, outages and surges. Pulling all three at once will be enough of a disturbance that the whole east side of the US would implode. Not pretty!”

 

The blond frowned, leaning back against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest. “But, won’t they get sus’? They’ll work out what’s goin’ on if one of ‘em disappears like that.”

 

Finishing the symbol he was working on, Xan sat back on his heels and looked at him. “You think they don’t already know?” He worded it like a question but there was little room for doubt that he knew they knew. “They know I’m here, they know what I’ll do. They’ll try to stop me, but really… they can’t.” He looked down at the symbols, thoughtfully.

 

“They know, and they’re not the only ones. You think it’s just demons and creatures from other dimensions?” He shook his head. A realisation hit him and his eyes clouded with sadness. “The Watcher’s council knew.”

 

Spike scowled, “Rupe’s knew?” He asked, speculatively, “Nah… not The Watcher.” But the look on Xan’s face told him the truth.

 

“He knows; that’s why he was in Sunnydale. The Hellmouth and slayer was an unexpected bonus to help cover the real reason.”

 

“So he was sent to watch over you?”

 

A flicker of brilliant blue then sad brown eyes met the vampire’s. He shook his head, “He was there to stop me reaching potential.”

 

It was hard for them to take it in. Angel, who’d been listening at a distance, felt the pull towards his boy and was by his side and wrapping him in a warm hug within a flash.

 

Betrayed, was the only thing that Xander could feel. Giles had known. The man he’d thought of as a father figure, had known all along about his destiny, about the prophecy and he’d tried to hold him back. Probably would still be doing so too if he hadn’t come to find Angel. They hadn’t known which side the chosen one would come out on, and they weren’t going to take the chance. He should have been angry, but he just felt hurt and betrayed.

 

In hindsight, it made sense; it explained why The Watcher had never tried to train him in combat skills, on how to protect himself. It also explained why he was never surprised by the way Xander obliviously acted as a demon magnet.

 

Angel silently swore revenge, not only had his mate been betrayed, but he had been lied to and manipulated; nobody treated Angelus like that and lived to tell the story. Giles would pay. He wondered if Wesley had ever known, it was irrelevant now but he guessed that he hadn’t; there would have been something that gave him away, back in those early days when he was just too eager and curious but not yet experienced enough.

 

After a good while, Xander eased back from the embrace, “I need to finish, they have to be done in the sunlight, if it goes dark on them I’ll have to start again.”

 

Angel nodded and reluctantly let him go. The sun was getting to him a bit anyway, it had been sometime but he could remember that too much sun could be a bad thing. He moved into the shade and sat with Spike to watch his boy work.

 

*******

 

One-by-one, Xander added the small intricate symbols to the circle, it was slow going and he was diligent, ensuring that they were perfectly correct; there was no room for a mistake. Black marker and chalk being used together to create designs, sweeping curving, some were tiny, others were bigger, they varied in style and size; celtic, demonic, some even resembled Egyptian hieroglyphs. His focus was on creating the circle.

 

Almost two thirds done and his head shot up, eyes a solid blue. “The wards have been breached.”

 

The words pulled the two vampires out of their reverie; they’d been sat happily watching him work and dozing in the shade. “Trouble?”

 

Xander was on his feet looking towards the door inside. “You could say that.”

 

A good five minutes passed before Illyria stepped through, “These humans, claim you know them.” She said precisely and with obvious distaste.

 

Buffy tried to push past her and earned herself a frosty blue-eyed stare.

 

“She would be wise to desist.”

 

“See Buffy, I told you… Xander is fine and he’s not vamped… he’s in the sun and everything.” Willow babbled and launched herself to hug him.

 

He stepped forward to meet her, holding her closely and narrowly avoiding her feet making contact with the symbols he’d been drawing. She stepped back from the hug with a confused look on her face. “You tingle, there’s something different about you, Xan.”

 

“The witch is a disappointment.” Illyria stated with boredom and looked to the Slayer, trying to work out if either of them were in the slightest bit worthy of their attention.

 

“What does she mean?” Buffy asked.

 

The brunette attempted to deflect the question with a wave of his hand and a laugh, but Buffy had turned her attention on the two vampires.

 

“Angel.” She almost simpered, then turned to the blond, “Spike.” Her voice turned snide. “What did you do to him? And if it’s not him then where’s the other vamp because my slayer senses are going major wiggy.”

 

“Hey, direct sunlight… not a vamp!” He pointed out, holding his arms out wide in emphasis.”

 

Buffy narrowed her eyes at him. “I wasn’t talking to you, Xander.”

 

Illyria looked from the blonde to the chosen one, “Would you like me to kill her for her insolence?”

 

“NO! No… thank you Illyria, really… it’s ok.” The brunette hurriedly told her. He was used to her blatant dismissal, he was just Xander the Zeppo to her. It spoke a lot about him and the reason he was the chosen one, others would have attempted to put her in her place for a comment like that, but he was in no hurry to tell her the truth.

 

“Like you could anyway. What’s with the blue, fashion victim, much!” Buffy stated, hands going to her waist, elbows out, as she stood looking as menacing as she could.

 

He put his hand up to stop the response from the old one. “Buffy, Wills; it’s really great to see you. You really should have called though because…”

 

“I got it. It was hard going there for a while and the woman gave me the evil eye, it was scary, then she wanted to give me a goat but I told her it had to be a ram and she finally handed over the head.” Greg was already talking when he came through the doorway, he continued even though everyone turned to look at him.

 

“Head?” Buffy asked, turning back to Xander, “And who exactly is *he*?” She pointed.

 

“Er… Hello. I am here… can answer for myself.”

 

“The book guy.” Spike said simply, and then sent his lover a wink and discreet leer.

 

Accusations flew, words from both sides. Xander tried to placate without revealing what exactly was going on, but Buffy just got louder and louder in her demands.

 

All fell silent though when Xander stiffened, his eyes turned solid blue. “STOP, no one move!”

 

Buffy naturally started to protest, but he held up his hand with and, with a glare in his direction, she shut up.

 

He’d felt the wards breached, soldiers were in their house, W&H special ops; he could feel them moving around. Luckily everyone who was there was out there with him.

 

He warped the perspective of anyone outside of their group, sending a ripple effect that distorted the very air around them. It was like they were all stood in clear gelatine. It wasn’t long before two black clad figures stepped out into the internal courtyard, heavily armed and wearing visors.

 

“I said they wouldn’t be stupid enough to come back here… no one’s been in this place for months… look at that layer of dust all over.”

 

“The boss is crazy, obsessed. Had to check it out though. It would be pretty dumb for the vampire to come back here after pissing off the senior partners. Probably somewhere obscure like Peru.”

 

The two were looking around the courtyard, right through the assembled group. Buffy was dying to say something but one look at Xander told her that she needed to do as he said… for now.

 

The two armed men disappeared back inside. The chosen one waited a few minutes until he felt the soldiers pass through the wards, before the air rippled around them again. His eyes morphed back to brown.

 

“What the HELL was that?” Buffy demanded.

 

 

 

Chapter 9

 

 

Xander gave a sheepish grin that said, well… nothing, really. Willow’s mouth hung open.

 

“That was close,” Angel said standing up and moving towards his boy, a quick look at his face stilled him though.

 

“Told ya it was a bad idea to come back here.” Spike grumbled.

 

“Xan? What did you do?” The witches voice was quiet but hinting towards a little hysterical.

 

He rolled his eyes. “Wills I didn’t do anything, this is me, it’s who I’ve always been.”

 

“The hell you are, Giles was right.” Buffy launched herself at him.

 

Eyes flashed solid blue and with a wave of his hand, the air shimmered just as she would have damaged his circle. Her momentum carried her through the portal and she disappeared inside it.

 

“Oh my god! Xander!” Willow raised her hand and he stilled her with his own. It was like someone had disconnected her mind from her limbs. “What did you do to Buffy?”

 

“She’s fine, Willow, in fact…”

 

“What the HELL did you just do?” The screeching slayer walked through the doorway back onto the terrace.

 

Spike looked on with amusement, lighting up a cigarette and leaning back against the wall to watch the show. Greg on the other hand was stood looking bemused, still clutching the Ram’s skull, he had no idea who the two women were and really had little inclination to find out.

 

Angel folded his arms over his chest and looked at his ex-girlfriend as she started towards Xander again. He couldn’t help but wonder what he’d ever seen in her, had she always been that blind and stupid?

 

Bright solid blue flared and settled in the Chosen One’s eyes, he was annoyed, time was running out and he didn’t need this. He held up his hand, his power halting her rather than the look on his face.

 

“Are you sure you wouldn’t like me to kill them, I will make trophies out of their…”

 

“Blue, that was dramatic the first time but it’s getting a bit old now… need a new line, luv.” Spike interjected.

 

She looked in his direction and tilted her head, “A new line?”

 

“Enough.” Xander stated so calmly it had the desired effect, silencing everyone immediately. “Buffy, Wills, I’m not a demon, I’m not a vampire and neither Spike or Angel have done anything to me. I have some very important work to do and if you don’t want to be here for that then I suggest you leave now. If either one of you attempts to use your abilities against me or my people I will strip you of them… and yes… I can do that!”

 

“Xander, can’t you see…we’re only trying to help? Giles said...”

 

He turned back to Willow. “I know what Giles said. I also know that he’s been lying to us since the first time we met him. He wasn’t in Sunnydale for Buffy, that was just a bonus, an excellent cover. He was there because of the Chosen One, to make sure he didn’t become.”

 

“Now I know you’re deranged, I am the chosen one… remember that? Into every generation… so on and etcetera,” Buffy snorted and interjected. “Ever the zeppo.”

 

Angel growled at the use of the old nickname and the look in his boy’s eyes when it was spoken. The haunted look was pushed quickly away though, this wasn’t the time to dwell; his boy was too strong for that.

 

“Actually, Buffy. That’s the story the council fed us because they wanted us to believe it. Ever wonder why I attracted demons like I was wearing a ‘bite me’ sign on my back? Or why Giles never trained me the way he did the two of you? Why he constantly held me back rather than making sure I was more able to protect myself? No, of course you never, because we believed everything he told us. Well, it was all lies. The Slayer isn’t the Chosen One. The Chosen One is the one who saved the Slayer’s life when the Master took it… and is most definitely all male.”

 

Willow and Buffy both stared at him, and then turned to look at Angel. The dark hybrid-vamp laughed and shook his head, shades of Angelus peeking through. “You still don’t get it do you? You know I don’t know why I ever thought you people were any different. I should have…”

 

“Angel,” Xan’s soft voice cut him off.

 

He glanced at his boy and nodded, backing off immediately, comments like that really wouldn’t help the current situation.

 

“Angel didn’t save you, Buffy. He wouldn’t even have tried if it hadn’t been for me, he couldn’t bring himself to go against the Master. He couldn’t give you mouth to mouth, even if he’d known how…which he didn’t.”

 

Twin confused looks met his, the blue was as strong as ever in his eyes as he held the two immobile and rendered harmless.

 

Greg finally realised who the two were and had moved to stand near his man, just in case. Illyria was stood like a guard on duty, ready to attack given the command at any second. And although his posture was relaxed, Xan knew his Master was ready to fight too. It all made him smile inside.

 

“I saved your life, Buffy. I’m the Chosen One.” He held up his hand to forestall any protest. “No I’m not possessed by a demon, no I don’t need help and no I’m not evil: which is what the Watcher’s Council never could quite understand.”

 

Their confused and shocked faces stared back for a moment before the blonde girl’s face set into determination. “That’s just ridiculous, don’t you see, you need help. We can help you Xander, we can. You just have to let us.”

 

Greg rolled his eyes. “Don’t you two get it? There’s nothing to help, he’s the most powerful force of good in the universe, when you attacked him he could have done far more than send you to the foyer and then hold you immobile. He considers you friends, and it is only his command that is holding back Illyria who, might I add, is one of the old ones, an ancient power beyond any you’ve met before even at her reduced abilities. How have the two of you even survived this long without being eaten?” He looked at Spike hoping for an answer.

 

The blond vampire shrugged, “Beats me, oh…wait… I know why.” He looked at Xander. “The boy is why.”

 

Buffy looked positively mutinous. “That’s the most stupid thing to come out of your mouth, Spike, and there have been plenty of them.”

 

Greg glared at her, wishing he had his own set of cool powers. It didn’t seem fair to him that he should be made of magic but not have anything cool he could do with it.

 

Illyria stepped forward, “Slayer, even when you are beaten and immobile you are still insolent to those in a position of power over you. You would do wise to desist before I would not regret making a necklace of your teeth & a pendant of your tongue in order to stop your talking.”

 

Spike snorted, “See Blue, knew you had more of them lines in ya.”

 

She gave him a small but stiff smile in response.

 

“This is getting us nowhere and I’ve got important work that needs doing before the sun sets; you’re keeping me from that. I don’t have time to discuss this now.” He waved his hand, “Arclan treydanil untay sanral.”

 

Light burst from the two girls and swirled in the air forming two spheres of golden light, each threaded with different colours, a trail of black running through each and representing the corruption they had both experienced in their life. Xan held out his hands and absorbed the spheres into his hands.

 

“I shall return your powers to you when you prove worthy enough of them. Until then you are both just regular girls. Just what you always wanted, eh, Buffy!” He knew it wasn’t true, no matter how many times she complained about it, she enjoyed being special. He lowered his hands and his eyes returned to deep chocolate brown.

 

The blonde, who had been resisting the immobilisation, crumpled to the floor and looked up at him in disbelief. She got to her feet and started towards him, she had barely moved two feet when a hand grabbed her arm and held her steady with no effort. She looked at it.

 

“Xander, what have you done?” She hadn’t believed that he really had stripped her Slayer powers, but Angel was holding her arm without any problem. She was too distracted to even notice the heat that was seeping through her shirtsleeve from his hand.

 

“I told you. Guys, will you look after them for me while I finish here? I don’t have long.”

 

“Do what you have to, my boy,” Angel told him and took Willow’s arm with his other hand, he wasn’t even using a fraction of his strength. “If you need anything…”

 

“I know.” Xan grinned, giving a glimpse into the true mischievous boy’s personality behind that of the Chosen One. “Greg, stay, I need you’re help.”

 

He turned back to his circle, briefly looking up to gauge the position of the sun. Cursing softly, the brunette crouched and started to fill the rest of the symbols in to complete the circle. He could feel his friend watching him, still clutching the skull; he allowed himself a small smile before becoming absorbed in his work. He worked quickly, focused on the intricacies of the symbols.

 

There was one small space left when he finally straightened out and turned to his observer. He offered a small smile and held his hand out for the skull. Greg looked uncertain as he handed it to him.

 

“Will you bring me some water, just from the tap not holy water, in a bowl.”

 

The other man nodded and headed off back through the door into the foyer. Xander watched him go before turning and stepping carefully into the circle, the sun was advancing across the sky and soon his circle would be in partial shade, it would be too late when that happened. He set the skull on the ground then, collecting the other items, he continued his ritual: crystals were placed at the four compass points around the skull and salt was trailed around the outside of the entire circle. By that point Greg had returned and he took the bowl of water from him with a smile, stepping carefully back into the circle.

 

Placing the bowl down, the brunette blessed the water: two fingers passing through the water in the bowl and forming a cross as he murmured words in a language that his anchor had never heard before, it didn’t sound demonic and it wasn’t like any of the ancient languages Angel and Illyria had taught him.

 

He pulled his fingers out and drew a symbol on top of the skull. Standing up, taking the bowl with him he stepped back out of the circle. Xander handed the bowl back to Greg.

 

“Don’t let Spike touch it, that stuffs powerful.” He gave a wink and then crouched back down on the outside of the circle. “Right, here we go.”

 

He used the black marker pen to draw the last symbol in. The effect was instantaneous; a blinding flash of light and the inside of the circle took on the resemblance of a small tornado.

 

“Enatante!” he declared, loudly.

 

The swirling grey mass vanished and left a seemingly ordinary looking man standing in its place looking startled and bemused.

 

“Perfect.” Xander grinned, happily.

 

“He looks… I mean… is he…?” Greg asked, uncertainly.

 

He nodded and briefly turned his gaze to his friend, “Please leave us.”

 

The brunette didn’t watch long enough to make sure he was left; he just knew he would be. His eyes settled on the average looking man in the circle, seemingly in his forties, wearing a business suit.

 

“Welcome, Mr.Ram,” he said with false cheer.

 

The man had watched the interplay between the two young men and now focused on the one wearing black silk as the other one left, “Who are you? Why and how have you brought me here?”

 

“Now, don’t disappoint me by pretending you don’t know. I’m sure you’re well aware of who I am… and why you’re here,” Xan said with a light tease in his voice and allowed his eyes to flare blue a moment.

 

The senior partner’s eyes widened and he stepped back trying to get as far away as he could, he hit the invisible outer wall of the magical prison and it threw him forward onto his knees. He looked up at the young man, fear in his green eyes and his face pale.

 

“You’re…him! Oh, fuck… look I can give you anything you want. You want to control the world, our firm can do that, we can give you multi-dimensional power. We’d be very honoured to represent you.”

 

Xander tilted his head to the side and looked to consider a moment before laughing. “You seem to forget that I already have that. I don’t need representation… I represent myself. Besides, I already have plans for you and they don’t involve being in a position to give anyone power.”

 

Ram blinked and got to his feet, “You don’t want to do that, can you even begin to imagine what will happen if you do that.”

 

The Chosen One smiled, brightly, “Yes, I know precisely what will happen.”

 

“The others will come after you. They won’t let you get away with it.”

 

“I’m counting on it.”

 

The lawyer was worried, he swallowed hard, “We can work together, think of everything we can give you.”

 

“Now, I know for a fact that you’re not deaf so I’m thinking you have a case of selective hearing. Not interested. Don’t worry; you won’t be alone, when I’m done with you I’m moving on to your multi-dimensional buddies.”

 

“The firm keeps evil under control, you kill us you destroy the company, do you know what that will do?” He was getting slightly desperate and he didn’t care if it showed.

 

Xander snorted, “You think I wouldn’t celebrate evil being disorganised? It’s much easier to win a fight against factions that are fighting each other than it is against one large organised army.” He shrugged, “Not that you would win even with all them behind you, all it would do is put you all in the same place.”

 

“But the balance…”

 

“See, here’s the thing: you and your guys always knew what I would be when I reached potential. Not like the Watchers; you knew what you were dealing with, they were so convinced I was evil, but you all knew the real deal. I know for a fact that you would have tried to take me out before, if you’d been able to find me. But that was something they kept so secret, you didn’t know who or where I was. That was why you attacked the Council in London, but it didn’t do you any good because the only person who knew wasn’t there. But your error is that you see balance as being open to persuasion, and I’m not. I side with good because evil has tipped the balance too far the wrong way, but if it was tipped the other way there’s no saying I would have sided with you guys. I’m not corruptible, you have nothing I want or need.”

 

“If you destroy us, you know what will happen to those who have contracts with us.” Ram made his last ditch closing arguments.

 

“I do.” He grinned, “Will save a lot of time and effort, the clean up will be…interesting.”

 

“And your precious Angel?”

 

His face became stony, eyes flaring dangerously, “The contract Angel had with you people was broken the moment that everyone had their memories returned when the orb broke.”

 

“He signed another contract.”

 

The brunette shook his head, “Yes he did, but it wasn’t his contract to sign. The Shanshu Prophecy was never about Angel. He was always destined to be so much more, why on earth would he settle for being human?” Xander looked him over. “You have nothing to offer me Ram. Your control is over, your existence…” He looked up at the sky, the sun was moving from sight and the shade was slowly creeping across the circle, “Is almost over.”

 

“This won’t end.” The man spat.

 

“Oh, but it will. You think I’m stupid enough to send you to hell?” He laughed, “Nope, not the crazy. It’s over, and end it will.” He watched the shade on the terrace, the other man moved to keep in the sun, as if from some primitive instinct, but all too soon it would be gone. “I’m sorry the pension isn’t quite what you’d have expected but, I think it’s time for you to retire.”

 

As the sun disappeared from the terrace there was a piercing screech, the visage of the lawyer flickered to that of half man half beast, a Ram that stood on two legs. The sky swirled, clouded, lightning flashed dramatically, there was another gut clenching scream as flames sprang up around the senior partner and then as they died away – silence. The circle of symbols and its contents had vanished.

 

Xan took a deep breath and let it out slowly, before turning to go back inside. He was greeted by several sets of eyes fixing on him.

 

“One down… two to go.” He looked over at Willow and Buffy and gave a small hopeful smile. “Well I dunno about you guys but I’m starving.”

 

“Are you ok?” Angel asked him, softly.

 

He nodded, “I need to do a Guardian spell.”

 

There was a sharp intake of air from Willow, “Xan, do you have any idea the magic you’re dealing with.”

 

The brunette looked back at her and smiled affectionately, “Of course.”

 

“What?” Buffy asked petulantly, “Demonic?”

 

The redhead shook her head making her hair flip from side to side with her enthusiasm. “It’s really advanced, powerful pure magic.” Her eyes measured her best friend in a new light. “It prevents anything evil or with intent to harm from entering a building or designated area.”

 

He nodded at her and turned back to the others, “Greg, I need that water.” He was looking around the room for things he would need, when he spoke again, “Spike, unless you want to spend the next week painfully regrowing your hand, I wouldn’t do that.”

 

“What? It’s just water, innit?” He had been thinking of dipping his fingers in the bowl to flick water at his Sire for fun.

 

“He blessed it,” Greg said with an amused tug to his lips.

 

“Holy water stings a bit but it’s not that bad.” The blond vampire pouted.

 

“That’s when it’s blessed by a priest, do I look like one of them to you, Will?”

 

Blue eyes narrowed thoughtfully as he considered the question, “Guess not, on account of the wild kinky gay sex an’ all.”

 

There was a gasp and an “Ew” from the two ex-Sunnydale girls, that made everyone else chuckle.

 

“Believe me, you don’t want to be putting anything in that water.” Xan told the vampire with a wink and turned away again to prepare for the Guardian spell.

 

 

Soul Illusion Ch10

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